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Can Community-Based tourism enterprises alleviate poverty? toward a new organization

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Recently tourism in general and community-based tourism in particular are being touted as means to generate income and alleviate poverty. This article attempts to investigate the extent to which community-based tourism enterprises (CBTEs) are able to alleviate poverty using data gathered from four CBTEs in Mopani District Municipality of the limpopo in South Africa. The study is essentially qualitative in design. Face-to-face interviews and focus group discussions were used to collect data. A thematic approach was used to analyze them. The study shows that the types of jobs that were created by the CBTEs now are low-level, menial, nonpermanent types of jobs. The poor absorptive capacity of new labor of these enterprises means that many people in the community remain unemployed for as long as alternative modes of employment are not found. However, communities learned about conservation, cooking and knitting, and community-building practices. A key contribution of this article is a new Social learning and Change (SlC) organization as a necessary form of tourism organization to meet the challenges of developing countries in their quest to alleviate poverty using CBTE as strategy. It is an SlC initiative (perhaps a new CBO), consisting of multiple players. It may involve the creation of civic corporation/civic NGO/civic government consistent with SlC in which the issue and not the organization matters. It is about job creation, community cohesion, community development, inclusion, and empowerment.
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Keywords: CHANGE; COHESION; COMMUNITY; EMPOWERMENT; POVERTY; TOURISM

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-09-01

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  • Tourism Review International is a peer-reviewed journal that advances excellence in all fields of tourism research, promotes high-level tourism knowledge, and nourishes cultural awareness in all sectors of the tourism industry by integrating industry and academic perspectives. Its international and interdisciplinary nature ensures that the needs of those interested in tourism are served by documenting industry practices, discussing tourism management and planning issues, providing a forum for primary research and critical examinations of previous research, and by chronicling changing tourism patterns and trends at the local, regional and global scale.
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